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Roman Polanski's treatment of mutable identity in his film, The Tenant (1976)

Hall, Martin (2017) Roman Polanski's treatment of mutable identity in his film, The Tenant (1976). Cogent Social Sciences, 3 (1).

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Abstract

This paper explores the identity anxieties evident with Roam Polanski’s 1976 film The Tenant. From psychoanalytical to gender perspectives this paper decodes Polanski’s film and argues that this work demonstrates a sense of identity that it is associated with one’s physicality. From clothing, demeanour and physiology and even to “teeth” this film is one which demonstrates the gradual degradation of its protagonist’s existential identity through his own physical change. Focussing on cross-dressing and exploring the controversial consideration of clothing as gendered, this paper explores how one man’s change in to “women’s” clothing leads to his eventual death. There are questions of nationality, border crossing and of course those of gender which all accumulate in this author’s reading of The Tenant’s powerful and menacingly macabre message.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2017.1299554
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
School/Department: School of Humanities, Religion & Philosophy
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/2227

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